The Story Behind the Big Green Egg and Ham(burger)!

For the weekend warrior who gathers the charcoal, tongs, and gourmet hotdogs. For the grillmasters intent on perfecting their smoking technique. For those barbeque aficionados who’ve never tried the Big Green Egg.

This post is for you!

If you’ve not yet said hello, maybe it’s because you’re a little apprehensive about cooking on something that resembles a big green dinosaur egg? Perhaps you don’t like change and can’t let go of the rusty little hibachi you’ve had since the late 70s. Or, maybe you just don’t get emotional about grills.

Whatever it is, take a minute and read the story behind the grill that has a following. While you may not care about following the crowd, or the Eggheads, we think you’ll seriously consider adding one to your grillmaster toolbox after reading.

By the way, the Big Green Egg isn’t a newbie. It’s been around about as long as that hibachi you’ve held on to since the 1970s.

The Dawn of a New Grill

When this egg-shaped grill a.k.a cooker, made its debut, there were no online grilling forums or social media review pages. You see, the Egg, as it’s fondly called, has a history that goes way back to third century Japan.

The cooking technology comes from the kamado or Asian rice cooker. The design goes back even further to the Qin Dynasty of China. Ancient chefs from this dynasty used clay cooking vessels.

First discovered by American G.I.s during WWII, the unique domed cooker came home to the States after the war when soldiers shipped them home.

Not a Grill but a Hybrid

So, you’re confused about what you should call the Egg (other than the Egg because it feels so, well, informal.)?

You know that old quip “you can call me anything you want just don’t call me later for dinner?” The same holds true here. The Egg wears many hats and you won’t go wrong calling it a combination grill/smoker/brick oven/convection oven.

Since that name is way too long and tongue-twisty, why not think of it as a hybrid, but call it the Big Green Egg? Since a hybrid combines at least two different elements, you can safely refer to the Egg by that terminology too.  Your friends might think you sound a little stuffy, but they’ll still show up for dinner.

Back to the 70s

Like your old hibachi, the Egg arrived on the grilling scene around 1974—at least that’s when it showed up in the United States.

Ed Fisher, the founder of Big Green Egg, originally imported both Japanese and Chinese kamados. The relationship with the kamados didn’t last forever. Big Green Egg decided to perfect the ancient cooking technology with something a little more up-to-date.

Ed Fisher’s company brought together modern brainpower, production techniques, and novel materials. They came up with the Big Green Egg.

How Does This Ancient Yet Modern Cooking Technology Work?

First, put away the propane (and propane accessories)! The Egg burns lump charcoal, not gas of any kind. The ultra-thick walls make fantastic insulation when you want a long, slow cook.

For temperature control, you’ll find vents on both top and bottom.

Airflow is key in this case and kamado-style cookers control airflow through the top and bottom of the cooker. A draft door controls fresh air entering the cooker through vents at the bottom. Heat and air exit the cooker through the top.

Controlling airflow is what prevents your precious brisket, pork tenderloin, or smoked salmon from turning into a charbroiled, and barely edible, mess.

That Mysterious Firebox

When you explore the inside of the big green egg cooker, you notice a lack of gas burners.

Remember what we just said about propane? You won’t even need to mess around arranging and rearranging charcoal briquettes.

Simply fill the cooker’s firebox with lump hardwood charcoal. Once the coals get hot, the ceramic walls and the airtight lid work together and trap the heat. This lets you use dampers to control the temperature.

When You Love A Tender Juicy Steak

Whether you love a juicy steak or a BBQ brisket, it’s all about the ceramic.

Ceramic reflects heat and generates airflow. We did just mention airflow, right? Airflow is what makes your brisket tender rather than the texture of dried out shoe leather.

This is where the history of the Big Green Egg continues.

Our very own NASA had a hand in developing the ceramic. The insulating properties of ceramic make it so the cooker withstands extremely high heat levels without suffering damage.

Production takes place in Mexico under stringent quality standards. Thank you, NASA. And thank you to the production professionals who make sure each Big Green Egg is ready for grilling season.

What Can You Cook in the Big Green Egg?

Don’t you mean what can’t you cook in the Big Green Egg? Sure, you can grill a burger, steak, or half a chicken. We mentioned pork tenderloin, but other cuts work just as well.

But why stop at meat?

Ever thought about cooking pizza on a grill? Start flipping your dough! You’ll even find a recipe for calzones, tailored to the cooker. You can also bake cakes, bread, and bread pudding.

Since you’re working with a hybrid, don’t forget about smoking meats, poultry, and fish. For you, seafood lovers dreaming of oysters, lobster, and clams—dream no more.

Peruse the many recipes online and in forums and it won’t take long to build your repertoire of go-to dishes.

Ready for a Whole New World of Outdoor Living?

Who knew a dinosaur egg-shaped ceramic cooker could change the way people cook outdoors? This little egg may even shape the way people enjoy a new level of outdoor living.

We love talking up this revolutionary (but ancient) outdoor food cooking technology. Bring your questions because we likely have answers, and if we don’t, we’ll look until we find them.

If we’ve enticed you to explore your Big Green Egg options, we hope you’ll give us a call, or come visit us in person.

Big Green Egg